Podcast Episode 3: “Explorers Off Course”

In episode 3, our topic is “Explorers Off Course.” First, we trek through the arctic on several dangerous expeditions with noted Norwegian explorer Hjalmar Johansen, then we discuss the story of explorer Leonidas Hubbard’s tragic death and his wife’s ultimate revenge. Remember, new episodes are on Tuesdays!

Hjalmar Left Behind

hjalmar johansen

Hjalmar, source.

The Norwegian explorer Hjalmar was certainly a man who took his highs and lows in the extreme. We examine the story of how he fell into exploring in the first place and then how it drove him to the brink.


  1. With Nansen in the north: a record of the Fram Expedition in 1893-1896” by Hjalmar Johansen, Ward, Lock and Co. Ltd, London, 1899.
  2. News in Sunday’s Papers”, The Indiana Gazette  (Indiana, Pa.), 6 January 1913.
  3. Arctic Explorer A Suicide”, New York Times, 5 January 1913.
  4. Death Takes Noted Arctic Explorer And Humanitarian”, The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah), 13 May 1930.
  5. “A Fresh Polar Story”, The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Ill.), 19 December 1897.
  6. A three-year fight against the ice”, DNV, 5 July 2010.
  7. Polar Explorers”, The Fram Museum, 2015.
  8. Diaries show pole race marred by split in Norwegian team”, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 March 2012.
  9. True South: Leadership Lessons from Polar Extremes” by J. Phillips Johnston, Prospecta Press, 2014.

Hubbard’s Terrible Death in Labrador

leonidas hubbard

Leonidas Hubbard, source.

mina hubbard

Mina Hubbard (sources 1, 2)

Leonids Hubbard had great expectations for his trip up North, a trip which inevitably went downhill after setbacks left him without the proper supplies for a fast approaching winter. When his surviving traveling companion decided to finish the work and write a book critical of Leonidas, his widow Mina took her revenge in the best way possible: doing it better than all the men. And let’s not forget this was also while wearing a constrictive dress and having her name muddied in the press.


  1. Hubbard’s Terrible Death in Labrador”, New York Times, 24 March 1904.
  2. Death in the Wilds”, New York Times, 18 February 1905.
  3. Explorer Hubbard’s Body Brought Back”, New York Times, 28 May 1904.
  4. Lobsticks and Stone Cairns: Human Landmarks in the Arctic” by Richard Clarke Davis, University of Calgary Press, Calgary, September 1996.
  5. The Woman Who Mapped Labrador: The Life and Expedition Diary of Mina Hubbard” by Roberta Buchanan, Anne Hart, and Bryan Greene, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 2005.
  6. Back to the Labrador Wilds” by Dillon Wallace, National Sportsman, March/April 1929.
  7. Race across Labrador” by Jenny Higgins, The Newfoundland & Labrador Independent, 10 June 2011.

Newspaper Clippings


Baby Submarine

the explorer submarine

The Explorer sub, source.

Simon Lake built a few submarines but this one even blew his own mind. Simon thought it would change the way we lived and also spark “clam consciousness”…still not sure what that means. His brilliant innovations are being preserved and the Explorer is still around today, though just as a display.

Source: “‘Baby Submarine’ in Test Here,” New York Times, 21 December 1932.


A Rhinoceros Kills Mrs. Green

woman on a safari, 1930's

This isn’t Mrs. Green but it’s what she would have been wearing, source.

Mrs. Green was surely an independent woman when it was almost scandalous to be so, but her headstrong attitude was also her downfall.

Source: Rhinoceros Kills Mrs. Green, Irish Explorer, And Later Tramples to Death Captain Atkins,” New York Times, 11 March 1925.

Danish Explorer Escapes

peter freuchen and his wife

Peter and his wife. Source 1, 2.

Peter’s wife Dagmar, pictured here, was Jewish but he wasn’t married to her during his fierce opposition to the Nazi party. Instead he met her once he was in New York at the home of some Danish friends they had in common. Her first husband died serving in WWII with the American Army. In this short clip we discuss his escape from the Nazis but Peter’s exploring days are packed with fascinating details too, he’s definitely worth reading further on!


  1. Noted Danish Explorer Escapes,” The New York Times, 12 March 1944.
  2. Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Seven Seas” by Peter Freuchen with David Goldsmith Loth, Lyons Press, 1 November 2003.

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